America’s National Parks


Taylor Newquist

Creek running from the waterfall at Trail 121 located in the Palisades Park area.

By Lauren Reichenbach, Co-Managing Editor/Copy Editor


With the weather warming up as summer rounds the bend, many students are getting back outside to soak up the rays before finals. Also, as the country begins to reopen its metaphorical doors, many might be ready to make extravagant summer plans again. 

Road trips have always been a popular activity for college students. But the biggest question is: where the heck should you go?

National parks have always drawn me to them, and I’ve recently made it a bucket list item to visit all 63 of them. However, unless I do a bunch of boring research — which let’s be real, we all have done way too much of as college students — I have no idea what to expect before I get there. 

That’s where “America’s National Parks” comes in.

With only eight episodes released in the first season, National Geographic has set out to encompass the wonders of every national park in the U.S. And what better park to begin the series with than our very own Olympic National Park, located on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula?

What I really like about National Geographic’s storytelling is that they don’t only focus on the parts of the park that visitors can see. In the first episode, they dive into the ocean to give viewers a firsthand look at all the happenings in Olympic National Park that go on under water while we are enjoying the splendors of the rest of the park on land.

The series focuses much more on the natural and wild aspects of the parks as opposed to the best hiking trails or Insta-worthy photo op spots. That makes it all the more helpful, though, when trying to decipher what weather to pack for and what animals you can expect to run into while visiting. 

The show encompasses as much of the parks as possible, advertising all their glory and highlighting why these areas have been so heavily protected. It definitely makes cooped-up college students yearn to get outside as soon as they submit their last final.

I’m currently only five episodes in, but I’m already anticipating season two and getting my travel itinerary ready for this summer.